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Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction?

by Larry Kellogg (11/03/08).

1922 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – White Face Clown on left

So you’ve just found the most amazing circus poster online and want to bid on it. Or maybe you are thinking about buying one at an antique mall. How do you know it is real? Could it be a reproduction? You aren’t sure. What can you do?

Size is the first clue about whether or not a poster is original. The majority of collectible posters are one-sheet (28 inches by 42 inches) or half-sheet. But posters also came in larger sizes — three-sheet, six-sheet, nine-sheet, 16-sheet, 20-sheet, 28-sheet and many other sizes. One of the largest ever produced was for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, a gigantic 108-sheet billboard.

For more information about reproduciton circus posters, read “Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction? More Answers.”

The circus poster reproductions seen most often are the six printed in 1960 by Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin and the vast assortment printed by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey beginning in the early 1970s and continuing through the early 1980s. Those are the ones we will concentrate on in this article. Some of those posters are shown above.

Al G. Barnes Circus Tiger Riding Elephant

Circus World Museum posters

The posters printed by Circus World Museum measure 13 ¼ inches by 19 inches each. If they haven’t been altered it’s easy to identify them because in the lower left border it says “Copyright 1960 Circus World Museum.” But I have seen these in antique shows with that line trimmed off and being passed off as original. Sometimes they are neatly framed and matted. The posters were originally sold as a set in a folder that said “Old Time Circus Posters – Six Colorful, Authentic Reproductions – Each Resplendent and Spectacular Reproduction is an Eye Feast of Beauty That Captures All the Unparalleled Magnificence of the Original Poster.”

The titles and images of the six posters are:

Ringling Bros. – Army of 50 Clowns
Barnum & Bailey – Peerless Prodigies of Physical Phenomena . . .
Barnum & Bailey – The Meers Sisters
Al G. Barnes Circus – Tiger riding on an elephant
Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. – Automobile Double Forward Somersault
Forepaugh & Sells Brothers – Hippopotamus & Rhinoceros

Ringling Bros. – Army of 50 Clowns

Barnum & Bailey – Peerless Prodigies …

Barnum & Bailey – The Meers Sisters

Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. – Automobile

Forepaugh & Sells Brothers – Hippo & Rhino

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey posters

In the early 1970s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey began reproducing many of their historic posters. They were advertised as “The Only Antique Posters Authorized by The Greatest Show On Earth.” These reproductions were sold at the concessions stands on the traveling shows and by mail as advertised in the souvenir program book. They were also sold in the gift shops at their theme park, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus World, which opened in 1974 in central Florida near Disney World.

Beginning with the 100th Anniversary Program in 1970, some of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey programs had poster reproductions inserted in the program book. These varied in size, but were about 16 inches by 20 inches. It’s easy to identify them because they were folded in quarters and have staple holes where they were inserted into the program. They continued this for several years.

In 1970 the 100th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey souvenir program advertised a set of four posters measuring 26 inches x 17 inches for $3.98 per set.

Those posters were:

Barnum & Bailey – Tiger Head – Blue Background
Barnum & Bailey – 1000 Skits by 50 Original Clowns
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women from Burma
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Dainty Miss Leitzel

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women

Barnum & Bailey – 1000 Skits by 50 Original Clowns

Barnum & Bailey – Tiger Head, Blue

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Dainty Miss Leitzel

Individual Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey posters

Starting in 1971 individual posters could be ordered from the souvenir program book. They were advertised as approximately 24 inches by 17 inches. All of these posters had an order number printed in the lower corner which begins with the letter “P.”

Here’s a list of these posters:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races, Blue Background

1897 – Ringling Bros., Three Famous Aerial Artists

P-103 – 1935 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races – Blue Background
P-104 – 1897 – Ringling Bros. – Three Famous Aerial Artists
P-105 – 1904 – Barnum & Bailey – The Great Florenz Troupe
P-109 – 1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Polar Bear – Red Background
P-113 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Gargantua the Great
P-114 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Terrell Jacobs & Lions
P-116 – 1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers
P-117 – 1927 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – May Wirth
P-118 – 1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns
P-123 – 1904 – Barnum & Bailey – Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers
P-125 – 1917 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background
P-127 – 1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head & other Animals
P-128 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – By the Hair of their Heads
P-131 – 1900 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Band – German Text
P-132 – 1915 – Barnum & Bailey – Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts including Mlle. Adgie
P-136 – 1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Crouching Lion
P-137 – 1895 – Ringling Bros. Mlle Elena
P-141 – 1922 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – White Face Clown on left
P-143 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Pallenberg – Bears That Dance
P-144 – 1913 – Barnum & Bailey – Great Free Street Parade
P-146 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Roaring Tiger Head
P-149 – 1936 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seated Clowns with Circus on their backs
P-152 – 1900 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers
P-153 – 1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey
P-155 – 1932 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 5 Big Herds of Performing Elephants
P-157 – 1903 – Barnum & Bailey – Miss Helen Girard
P-158 – 1906 – Barnum & Bailey – A Whole Horse Show
P-159 – 1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races- Red Background
P-162 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Giraffe Neck Women
P-202 – 1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West – Featuring Indians

1904 – Barnum & Bailey, The Great Florenz Troupe

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; The Great Florenz Troupe

 

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Gargantua the Great

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Gargantua the Great

 

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Terrell Jacobs & Lions

1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Terrell Jacobs & Lions

 

1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers

1888 – Ringling Bros. – Portraits of the five brothers

 

1927 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; May Wirth

1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns

1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head

1916 – Barnum & Bailey; By the Hair of their Heads

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers

1904 – Barnum & Bailey; Blue Ribbon Winners – High Jumpers

1917 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background

1917 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background

1900 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Band – German Text

1900 – Barnum & Bailey; Clown Band – German Text

1915 – Barnum & Bailey; Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts

1915 – Barnum & Bailey; Great Groups of Trained Wild Beasts

1900 – Ringling Bros.; Portraits of the five brothers

1900 – Ringling Bros.; Portraits of the five brothers

1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey

1897 – Barnum & Bailey – Portraits of Barnum & Bailey

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey posters – Larger size

1936 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seated Clowns

1932 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – 5 Big Herds of Performing Elephants

1906 – Barnum & Bailey; A Whole Horse Show

1903 – Barnum & Bailey; Miss Helen Girard

In 1976, the 105th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Program began to advertise the posters as 23 ½ inches by 36 ¼ inches. Sometimes they were advertised as 2 feet by 3 feet. Many were the same images as sold before, only the size was larger.

Here’s a list of those posters:

P-1 – 1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West – Featuring Indians
P-2 – 1895 – Ringling Bros. Mlle Elena
P-3 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Pallenberg – Bears That Dance
P-4 – 1916 – Barnum & Bailey – Roaring Tiger Head
P-5 – 1917 – Barnum & Bailey – Clown Standing over Tents – Blue Background
P-6 – 1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head & other Animals
P-7 – 1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Polar Bear – Red Background
P-8 – 1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Chariot Races- Red Background
P-9 – 1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Crouching Lion
P-10 – 1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns
P-11 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Terrell Jacobs & Lions
P-12 – 1938 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Gargantua the Great
P-20 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seal Act
P-24 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Seven Clown Heads
P-25 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Trains more than one a third mile long
P-26 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Congress of World Famous Horse Acts
P-27 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Leaping Tiger
P-28 – P.T. Barnum & Great London Circus – Jumbo the Elephant
P-29 – Barnum & Bailey – Four Giraffes

In the 1978 souvenir program the numbers following the letter “P” were incorrect and did not match the numbers on the posters, but that was corrected the following year.

1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Polar Bear, Red Background

 

1925 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Chariot Races, Red Background

1928 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Crouching Lion

 

1883 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West; Featuring Indians

1895 – Ringling Bros.; Mlle Elena

1916 – Barnum & Bailey; Pallenberg – Bears That Dance

Barnum & Bailey; Four Giraffes

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seven Clown Heads

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Seven Clown Heads

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Trains more than one a third mile long

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Trains more than one a third mile long

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Congress of World Famous Horse Acts

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Congress of World Famous Horse Acts

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Leaping Tiger

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Leaping Tiger

Beware of cheap circus poster reproductions

There are many circus poster reproductions, but the ones listed above seem to be the most common. They are frequently up for auction on eBay and are regularly seen in antique shows and malls. None of these posters have much value—less than $5 each—but they are sometimes advertised as “guaranteed original,” with prices in the hundreds of dollars. Usually, the seller really believes they are authentic and isn’t trying to rip you off.

If you just want to decorate your walls and don’t care about value, there are some nice reproductions and they are not hard to find. Just be very careful when you want to buy an original.

Larry Kellogg is a WorthPoint Worthologist specializing in circus memorabilia.

WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth

 

 

269 Responses to “Is That Old Circus Poster You Found Authentic or a Reproduction?”

  1. Hello Larry!
    Thank you for your article! It was so helpful. I recently purchased a vintage Ringling Bros poster with a tiger and lion featured on it with beautiful reds and yellows. I measured the size and it’s 28″ wide and 44″ tall. Is this an original? It’s slightly taller than the size you recommended. I would be happy to send you photos if your interested. Also, do you have advice on how to frame the poster? Is there anything I can do to preserve the poster?
    Thank you Larry! I’m so excited I came across your article.
    -Rachel

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      I’ve sent you an email reply.

      • Mike Medina says:

        Hi Larry,
        Just returned from a trip to Palm Springs where I stayed at a small hotel that had been previously owned and decorated by some old-time Hollywood set designers. In a patio, right behind a covered bar, they had the most amazing circus poster. It measured approximately 6 feet by 8 feet. It was cut in 6 vertical strips and mounted to boards to created what looked like a screen. It was a Ringling Bros. B&b , red with yellow lettering., depicting a clown in white w/ blue stripes, smiling and tipping his cap. It looked old, slightly tattered, but still very colorful . My question is: does this sound original, and if so, what would the value be? Are there any companies out there that produce huge poster reproductions like that? I took a pic of it if you want it. Thanks

  2. Julie says:

    I have a (approx. 12 x 20) cardboard advertisement for Barnum, Bailey, and Hutchinson. It’s for Jumbo The childrens giant pet. No numbers no dates…nothing. But they all have a metal grommet in the top middle for hanging. Maybe given as a souvenir or something?

  3. Julie says:

    Correction, they are approx 16 x 11

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thank you SO much for your informative (and easy to understand) article. You saved me from wasting a good amount of money! Thanks again!

  5. grant says:

    does anyone know about the rarity/value of a 1928 (supposedly) Barnum and bailey 100 clowns poster?

  6. Joseph says:

    I have another poster in question; the seller says it is 28 x 38 inches in size. It says ringling bros on the left upper and barnum and bailey on the right upper with the words “combined show” under barnum and bailey in smaller lettering.

    Beneath the lettering, is a large lion with a large mane of hair in a rather poised fierce stance facing to the left, with mouth open as if roaring.

    They also say it is from 1928 — would this be authentic?

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Joseph, Without seeing the poster I couldn’t say. The size seems to be about correct for an original. An orignal one-sheet poster measures 42 inches by 28 inches. The poster may have been trimmed.

    • jerry marlett says:

      i have a poster with one lion jumping and tiger jumping over the top of him and in the middle of the poster its blue and says ringling bros and barnum bailey circus in the boyyom left hand corner it has p-21___121 is this the real deal im affraid to say what i paid for it.

      • Janice says:

        Hi, Larry, Thanks for the great article. I have the same poster as jerry marlett (above) and also one with a leaping leopard that is RBros. B&B, numbered P-18, 23.5 by 36 inches. Should I assume they are both from the 1976 reproductions, only worth about $5 each? I got them free in a box of other things.

  7. Mark says:

    Larry, I have a 7 clown heads poster 23.5 inch by 36.25 inch. It has markings P-24 124 on the bottom left. Can I assume it’s a repro?

  8. PosterAsking says:

    I have an authentic: 1921 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Polar Bear — Is it worth anything?

  9. VM says:

    Larry,

    I have 5 posters all under glass and sized 15-1/2″x22″ with copyrights of 1903 and 1904 and some with only the c and no year. All made by Strobridge Litho Co.in Cincinnati and NY…includes May Wirth, A Whole Horse Show, Miss Helen Girard, High Jumpers and Combined Shows (Chariot Rider). To the best of your knowledge, are these originals and if so, what type of value do they have?

    • Gigi Andrade says:

      Hi VM. I ran across an old Barnum poster like the one you described to larry with the chariot driver. Did he get back to you about its value?

  10. Heather says:

    Dear Larry,

    We have a poster of the following description and wonder if you can tell if it’s anything of value.

    Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey combined shows. May Wirth the Greatest Bare Back Rider of All Time. The Greatest Show on Earth (on a blue globe in the lower right corner). 22 x 32.5″ Dark blue background.

    I have seen reproductions online of this poster and none of them have the globe in the lower right corner.

    It is in excellent shape with only some foxing on the reverse, and a bit along the front edges.

    It does not appear to have been trimmed in any way.

    I would appreciate any thoughts you might have about it.

    Sincerely,

    Heather Shanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      I have sent you an email response.

      • Heather says:

        Hello Larry,

        I see that I put down the wrong email address – would you please send your response again to the address now listed? I apologize for the inconvenience.

        Best regards,

        Heather

  11. diamantina .m says:

    does enyone know the value of a par of ringling bros and barnum bailey collector series tickets

  12. Julie says:

    Larry,

    Can you please advise on my question from April 21st? If you search jumbo the childrens giant pet on worthpoint it shows 2 posters just like mine that sold on eBay in 2003 and 2008

    Thanks

  13. Julie says:

    You just answered it thanks!

  14. Fred says:

    Hi

    I bought a May Wirth poster on Ebay that is framed and measures 21 inches by 31 inches (although may be slightly larger due to some of it being under glass). There doesn’t appear to be any numbers as per your article printed on it. Does it seem an original?

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      It’s possible that it is an original 1/2 sheet but I wouldn’t be able to give you a definite answer without seeing the poster.

  15. Susan Whitson says:

    Hi Larry , I also have the P-29 ___129 “FOUR GIRAFFES”. Is this one any different if it states “Copyright 1918 by the Strobridge Litho.Co” on the poster? THANKS

  16. Rhonda Stephens says:

    Hi, my dad was a carpet salesman in the 60′s and 70′s. For being a top seller, he was mailed a poster each month with a congrats letter from B.F. Goodrich 100th Anniversary sponge rubber carpet cushion “Big Top” centennial 1970. He received 6 circus posters approx. 17″ X 24″. My questions are, only 3 of the 6 “P” numbers match up to your list, four of them do match the set of 4 advertised for sale but the others do not. Would there have been a special run made for the B.F. Goodrich Co.? Does the 100th Anniv. letter make these posters anymore valuable as a pair? They are #P163-50 original clowns, P119-Miss Leitzel, P146-Tiger head, P162-Giraffe neck women, P107-Bring-Em back alive Frank Buck, and P113-Gargantua Gorilla. I appreciate your time and enjoyed reading your research. Rhonda

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Rhonda, No your posters would not have a greater value than the ones mentioned in the article. The only posters that have significant value are originals.

  17. dan h. says:

    larry ,I own polar bear p-7 —- 1921 and the mile long train p-25——–125,also p-31—–131 ringling bros and barnum bailey combined cicus bunch of african animals pictured. do you know their value i want to sell them

  18. Ian says:

    Hi larry,

    I acquired a poster of may wirth “the greatest bareback rider of all time” it is overlapping in four parts and measures 27 x 19.5 inches.
    It’s got the usual: c the stobridge litho. Co. cinti & N Y, bottom right. Top right it says: R-B 2550
    Sound original?
    Thanks, Ian

  19. Susan says:

    Hi~i’m really confused! I have P-128-1916 that was left to me when a family memeber died. I had it appraised by a company in Ohio and they went through Kovels and told me thta it was worth $500.00 even though it’s a Repoduction. I’m selling it and it has been framed since 1970′s. Thanks

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Susan,

      These poster reproductions are very common and are frequently listed online on sites like eBay. They seldom get a bid because knowledgeable collectors know of their low value. Occasionally they will sell but it is usually because they are listed as original or because the buyer has not done any research. This week one of these posters sold on eBay for $42. The listing said it was original but it also said it was from 1960. Neither statement was true. Having a poster framed like yours would increase the value but only by the price you paid for the frame. It is very easy to find these posters for $5 or $10 or less.

  20. richard simpson says:

    Hello. I have an 18″ X 24″ Ringling Brothers poster mounted on what seems to be fiberboard. It says Ringling Bros. with no “Barnum & Bailey” and features the Four McCrees equestrians. I have not seen such a print on eBay or your site. In the lower left corner is the inscription “Published for Soroka Sales Inc.”

    Any clues?

  21. Linda says:

    I recently purchased several Ringling brothers programs ranging from 1973 up to 1987. Many have posters inside that have never been removed. The bicentennial edition one from 1975 not only has a poster, but also autographs of several of the performers both on the first page and by their photo in the program. How do I value this edition?

    Also, was there a poster in each program during these years? I assume the value is less if the program does not have the poster.

    thanks for your help
    Linda

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Linda,

      Thank you for your question. All the programs from that period had some type of insert. Usually it was a poster but some years it was a sheet of postcards or other items. I am not allowed to evaluate items here but I can tell you those programs have little value. If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  22. cynthia says:

    If I was to have an original of one of these posters (Al G. Barnes Circus Tiger Riding Elephant) what would the value be of it?

    Thanks!

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Cynthia,

      Thank you for your question. The purpose of this response section is to ask questions or make comments about the article above. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  23. John Chism says:

    Larry,

    Thank you for your article. My question is you talk about how to spot reproductions. My assumtion is that if the said items are not on a poster it is real???

    I have three posters found in my mothers house after her death. None of them have dates. Only Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus on one side and Litho.in U.S.A on the other.
    One is blue horizonal has clown in left side and has Maxwell Frederic Coplan next to it.

    One is green and red border with a leporad head in middle.

    the last one says Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Combined shows inc on one side and Litho.in U.S.A on the other side and shows a Lone trapeeze Girl upside down holding onto a gold and red rope, Blue background and white border.

    Any information you can give me would be wonderful.
    Thanks
    John Chism

  24. Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

    I have sent you an email.

  25. Craig Packer says:

    Hi, I was given s neat little poster of the Saxon Trio. They are depicted performing several feats of strength, including them holding up a bridge with a car driving over it. The poster measures. 24″ X 18″ the paper is rather thick, similar to an index card. I can see pixels shaped like rosettes in the colored areas, but the black is solid. The poster has the Strobridge Lito Co.logo dated 1909 in the bottom right inside the border. Outside of the border on the very bottom edge is Litho in USA.

  26. Sebastian E says:

    Hello Larry. First off thanks for your generosity in publishing this article and sharing your wealth of knowledge on this topic. I too have come across a cool looking poster it is approximately 40 x 28 inches and on the poster it reads 3 ring poster and in the lower left hand corner on the horizontal there is a marking No 101-F.

    I’d be glad to forward along photos if you could help me!

    Thanks,

    Sebastian

  27. karen says:

    Hi, I have a poster showing a menagerie at a water hole with Ringling Bros on the left and Barnum & Bailey on right and combined circus in the middle. Number at bottom is P-31-131. It is 36×24. I did not see the number included in your list. Does that mean it’s from 1978 and numbered incorrectly, but still only worth $5? Or is it an extremely rare and valuable item??

  28. Hi. Is there anyway I can send you a picture of one that I have..I cannot find it anywhere..nor even mention of it..It has 2 white clowns on either side of a girl standing on a white horse busting thru a round circle..there are also poodles at the ft of ea clown…thanks :)

  29. pascual says:

    bonjour,Larry,je viens de lire vos conseils sur les fausses affiches et je ne sais que penser;moi je possede 6 affiches avec des tailles 19X15 mais aucune ne correspond a celles que vous citez j’ai (jessie millar 1895?,coney island meme epoque,congo geant 1898,jumbo cloon elephant 1900?(london edition)madame bradanas 1914,et the ching-ling-he an tia pen trouper 1914 toutes sont strobridge cincinnati & new york elles ont ete achetees aux puces a Paris dans les annees 1960 je serais ravi si vous pouvez me donner un avis merci d’avance

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      I am not familiar with any of the posters you list but judging from the size they are not originals. I would assume they are French reproductions.

  30. garywood says:

    I bought a picture mirror with it on has army of 50 clowns on bbottom middle and just RINGLING BROS ON TOP CENTER.IT IS A POSTER THAT IS IN BACK OF A MIRROR.I CAN NOT FIND ANOTHER LIKE IT AND WOUNDER HOW MUCH IT WAS WORTH.IT IS 21 AND HALF BY 16 MIRROR.

    • Larry Kellogg Larry Kellogg says:

      Thank you for your question. I am not allowed to evaluate items here. If you will click on the “Research Your Items” tab you will find two ways to find advice about value—the “Worthopedia – Price Guide” and “Ask a Worthologist – Expert Advice.”

  31. garywood says:

    I HAVE A MIRROR WITH A POSTER BEHIND IT SHOWING 50 CLOWNS.IT IS 21 AND A HALF INCHES BY 16 INCHES AND AT TOP CENTER IT SAYS RINGLING BROS AND BOTTOM CENTER ARMY OF 50 CLOWNS.I CAN NOT FIND ANOTHER ONE LIKE IT TO COMPARE TO AND WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IT WORTH.

  32. Julian says:

    Hi I purchased four of the six 1960 posters. They all measure 13 1/2 by 19, and have the 1960 copyright. They are in good condition and I have pics. They are mounted to some kind of brown board. The boards look original to the posters I came across them at an estate sale and would love to see them go to a good home, I just need help determining the value because I can’t find a similar one on ebay. Thanks

  33. Hi, I am looking for information on an elaborately framed ringling bros poster of trains 1 and 1/3 miles long. It is framed in red and gold with gold swirls painted on the frame all the way around. It appears very old, frame is hinged together in the corners with an unusual fastener. I would be happy to send pictures if you are willing to share some information. Thank you darlyne

  34. Bill says:

    I got poster labeled
    “THE BARNUM & BAILEY GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH”
    “ATTRACTION EXTRAORDINARY”
    “A Congress of 50 of Japan’s Famous Strong Men, and women gladiators, swordsmen,wrestlersJiu-Jitsu and athletic champions”
    Poster is framed but size including frame is 15-1/4 tall X 19-1/4 inches long.

    Upper right corner is labeled “13-B NP 221″
    Is this a reprint?

  35. Judy Erickson says:

    My friend has a1927 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; May Wirth poster which has been identified by another appraiser as authentic but we would like to know what you think and what it’s worth. The poster measures 21 inches by 31 inches.

  36. Bonnie Stump says:

    I have three of the posters you mention in your blog P-6 – 1920 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Worlds Biggest Menagerie – Elephant Head & other Animals, P-118 – 1933 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Felix and 99 other Famous Clowns,and P-2 – 1895 – Ringling Bros. Mlle Elena. I bought them from the Ringling Brother Circus (probably around the time they were issued. One has a slight tear that has been restored and all three are currently in conservation framing. Now the question you probably get a million times a day, are they worth anything? Should I insure them? I love the circus and that is why I have these, but I would love to have some other posters, perhaps even vintage. E:mail blackcatexpress@yahoo.com

    Thank you.

  37. Larry,

    I purchased a poster at auction that appears to be attached to an old piece of tent canvas. It is a 1945 Ringling Brothers Poster of an elephant hoisting a clown. Is their any way to find out if this would have been on an actual circus tent or if someone bought it and put it on there at home? I paid $30. There are some tears around the edges and the poster is a little rough from obviously being outside.

    Thanks,

    Kim

  38. chyna says:

    Hi so i found 4 posters while i was cleaning out my attic and i have what appears to be original posters such as the red back ground with the polar bear… they seem to be legit but im not sure there deff not new they prolly be up there 20 years at least if there reproductions there old ones id assume they are the correct size and very bright still and in very good condition with the correct numbers on them if anyone knows more about this please contact me

  39. sharon says:

    I have the 7 clowns poster/billboard framed. It was given to me as a gift 18 years ago, and I was told it was an original and that she’d had it in her family for some time. It looks like it is made of card board and not regular poster paper if that makes sense. It has no folds of any kind to it but has some small ripples in the cardboard that are barely noticeable. Could it be an original? There are no letters or numbers showing, and I can’t remove it from the framing without ripping the framing’s backing. It is the 23 1/2 x 36 1/4.

  40. ej says:

    I have a set of 6 authentic reproductions which include:
    Ringling Bros Show Greatest Show on Earth 14-R-189 1914
    The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth – The Celebrated Ponies “Jupiter” and Joie 1903 B No. 46 1898
    Christy Bros 5 Ring Wild Animal Show – Riverside Print Co. Chicago Milwaukee 3370
    Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows – The Children’s Favorite Clown R-?-2021 192?
    The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth The Thriller Supreme – Desperado’s Terrible Leap for Life … ??? B No. 212 190?
    The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth – Attraction Extraordinary – A Congress of 50 of Japan’s Famous Strong Men and Women, Gladiators, Swordsmen, Wrestlers, Jiu-Jitsu and Athletic Champions 13 B No. 221 1???

    How do I get more information?
    Thank you for your time.

    EJ

  41. Sam says:

    Larry,

    I have a Dainty Miss Leitzel poster that measures 24 5/8″ by 16 3/4.” It is the same image as the one that was available as part of a group but it appears to have been available for individual sale because it has P-119 in the lower right corner. Just an FYI.

    Sam

  42. Harold Mong says:

    Mr. Larry.

    Could please help me ID the worth of a 100 Clowns Poster my son in law has? Please reply at email address.

  43. jeff stivers says:

    Larry,
    I just bought a set of BARNES circus posters that look good and smell good to me.
    How can i send you pictures and sizes? Can I get your email address?
    Thanks,
    JEff

  44. Randy shepherd says:

    I have the: P-27 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Leaping Tiger. poster but mine says this in right had corner. its says 1915 and something about newyork and Cincinnati ohio. would that be repo.

  45. Diana Gardner says:

    Larry,
    Your poster are great. I have never got to go to the circus. But I remember the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus being in Anaheim California at the Anaheim Convention Center around September 1974 or May 1976. I was at the Anaheim Convention Center at one of these times when I saw the animals out back at the Convention Center. Any way I am trying to pin point when it was. Can you or any one reading this post help me find out when it was. I know this has nothing to do with you sight here but I thought maybe some one could help me. I have been looking on the internet trying to find some past dates of shows that was at the Anaheim Convention Center and have had no luck at it.

    Thank You
    Diana

  46. J.P. Davis says:

    Hi Larry. I have a HUGE Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey “Leopard Head” poster which I bought at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota in the 1970s. It measures 80 inches X 105 inches. In the lower left corner, it says, “Litho In USA”. I the lower right corner is the logo for “Local #8 Lithographers Of America, Cincinnati.” It came folded in separate sheets which I had dry mounted on half-inch foam core so that it could be hung and displayed like a billboard, rather than linen banner art. It may have been hand dated on the back, but the dry mounting would have hidden it. It iis in great condition. I have seen many of these Leopard Heads on eBay but they are all smaller. Two questions: (1) how many sheets is 80 X 105 and (2) what would it be worth (ballpark range)?

    Thanks much!

  47. shawn morrison says:

    Hello I found a Gargantua the great 13×9 inch cardboard sign. I can not seem to find any information on it, did they ever make these? There are no numbers anywhere on it. It looks like a little has been trimmed to fit in a wooden frame

  48. Hi Larry,

    I purchased a Leaping Tiger Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey combined shows 1915 poster. In the right hand bottom corner it says 1915 The Stobridge Litho. Co. Cincinnati & New York. It is a large poster size 33X22. Could this be an original or would it be a reproduction? Thanks so much. Camala

  49. Barnaby says:

    Hey Larry,

    I’m looking into some posters from a lot at a local auction I went to. Three I know are real. But two I’m not so sure about. The posters all look to be from the 1970′s.
    The two in question measure 20.5 inches x 27 inches. The size alone might sort them out. The reason I originally questioned them was their condition which is much nicer than the others. Also I noticed tac marks in the corners. Then I looked at them a little closer and noticed they do have staple marks under the tac marks. One is missing the staple holes in the upper left corner but I noticed I can see where it was hit several times unsuccessfully. Like someone tried to staple it and the gun was either out of staples or it was jammed.

  50. Holly says:

    Hello Larry!

    We have several posters for Ringling Brothers Circus and the lower
    corners say “Copyrighted with dates..such as 1942 by Ringling Bros. BB Comined Shows, INC” and “Litho in U.S.A.” and some say “Erie Litho & Ptg Co..” Can you tell me anything about these posters?

    Thanks so much!

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